Why meat substitutes may not be the best choice for your health if you eat less meat

Those who want to eat less meat will soon become a meat substitute. Nice and easy. Not a normal burger, but a soy burger and you don’t have to fix anything. It is good for the environment, but not essential for your health.

“Of course not every meat substitute has a good mix,” says Michael Sells, chief dietitian at University Hospital Antwerp and author of the book Lecker Long Eleven. “If you look at the packaging, you can see that there are many meat substitutes that contain a lot of salt and fat.”

Half-fried snacks

“Some meat substitutes are a type of semi-fried snack or cheese croquet with a type of pea or broccoli, and they are not large in the mix,” says Dietitian Sales.

According to nutritionist Flor Worman, meat substitutes are not immediately healthy. “You should always look critically at what’s in them. They often add B12, but add salt as a preservative to lengthen it, enhance the taste and sugar. The list of ingredients for meat substitutes is long, and meat substitutes that are high in it fall into the unhealthy category.”


The Dutch eat most meat substitutes

Research shows that the Dutch eat more meat substitutes in all countries in Europe. We spend 17 euros per person per year on meat substitutes. The biggest growth last year was in supermarkets like Aldi and Little, which now have large-scale meat substitutes. Across Europe, consumption of vegetable meat substitutes more than doubled last year.

Not in favor of meat substitutes

Warman is not in favor of meat substitutes. “It’s all prepared, and there are plenty of combinations. I make burgers myself, or not as a ready-made alternative, but choose vegetables. We always have a shortage of vegetables, so the best thing is you’re really going to eat more vegetables.”

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According to Warman, in addition to meat substitutes, there are numerous other alternatives to preparing food without meat. “Nuts, for example, are a great alternative, or unsalted cashews. These are great varieties to play with natural products instead of processed products.”

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Healthy alternatives

Iris Kronenber, a nutritionist and health expert at the Netherlands Nutrition Center, says there are ample alternatives to reducing meat without using meat substitutes.

“For example, by using eggs, legumes or unsalted nuts in cooking. These are very good meat substitutes and are healthy.”

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Healthy ready-to-eat meat substitutes

If you want to eat healthy healthy meat substitutes, according to Kronenberg, there are many things to keep in mind. There are criteria that meat substitutes must meet to be a viable alternative to meat.

“If the ready-to-eat meat substitute is actually a substitute for meat, it should contain enough protein along with iron and vitamin B1 and / or B12. At the moment, most meat substitutes do not meet those criteria, meaning the majority of the five-wheel drive is not yet included,” says Kronenberg.

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